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(47 min, 'Electromantic')
TRACK LIST: 1. Non Ploi Fingere 12:21 2. Ilmarinen Forgia Il Sampo 7:52 3. Il Tempo a Venire 3:27 4. Cavalcado Tra Le Nuvole 7:09 5. Questo Destino 15:01 6. Il Tempo a Venire Finale 1:16 All tracks: by Il Castello Di Atlante. Produced by Il Castello Di Atlante. LINEUP: Aldo Bergamini - guitars; vocals Paolo Ferrarotti - drums; vocals Massimo Di Lauro - violin Roberto Giordano - keyboards; vocals Franco Fava - bass; vocals
Prolusion. "Quintessenza" is fifth album by Italian band IL CASTELLO DI ATLANTE, following "Sono Io il Signore delle Terre a Nord" (1993), "Posso Dopo Passo" (1994), "L'Ippogrifo" (1996), "Come il Seguitare delle Sragione" (2000).
Analysis. From the first notes, "Quintessenza" promises to be a strong Symphonic Prog album. And as the music progresses, I have to say I was not disappointed. The playing is strong, with plenty of what you'd expect from the Italian school. There is a firm grip on the classical feel with some beautifully flowing piano and violin work. The vocals are solid, sung in Italian, sometimes with group harmonies. Ilmarinen Forgia Il Sampo contains some very nice acoustic guitar and violin passages with some flute-like keyboards. There is also a brief bit of acapella group vocal. Il Tempo a Venire includes some grand symphonic keyboard work, sounding like strings and brass, with crashing cymbals. Cavalcado Tra Le Nuvole begins with a Latin flavored acoustic guitar intro, which soon dissolves into bouncy jazzy number, featuring violin, sounding very much like something that Jean Luc Ponty might have created. There is a meaty B3 solo toward the end of the piece, which is the only purely instrumental track, with the exception of the brief outro, Il Tempo a Venire Finale. Organ and electric guitar take the spotlight for the first several minutes of Questo Destino, which is the epic of the album. Il Tempo a Venire Finale is essentially a restating of the grand symphonic theme from Il Tempo a Venire.
Conclusion. "Quintessenza" may not be the quintessential prog album, but it is very good from beginning to end. I found it very enjoyable throughout and would recommend it for fans of the Italian Prog sound, not unlike PFM and Banco.
KW: Agst 28, 2005
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